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The Trustworthiness of the Bible


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Title: The Trustworthiness of the Bible

The Trustworthiness of the Bible
  • Robert C. Newman

What is the Bible?
  • A collection of books handed down from ancient
    times by the Christian church, which books claim
    to be a message from the Creator to the entire
    human race.
  • These books are grouped in two collections called
    the Old Testament and the New Testament (or old
    covenant and new covenant), and are usually bound
    in one volume.

Finding a Passage
  • Because the Bible is a collection of books, it is
    sometimes hard to find a passage, since the books
    are not given in alphabetical order.
  • We use a technique somewhat like the post office
    does for getting a letter to you
  • Country
  • Postal code city
  • Street number
  • Name

Finding a Passage
  • So we look in
  • The Bible (Old or New Testament?)
  • Book? (need a list)
  • Chapter?
  • Verse?

Finding a Passage
  • Suppose we wish to find the passage discussed
    last night from Lesson 29, the parable of the
    prodigal son
  • We look in
  • Bible (New Testament)
  • (3rd book) Gospel of Luke
  • Chapter 15
  • Beginning at verse 11

Finding a Passage
  • So, if you have the reference for a passage (like
    Luke 1511), all you need is the list of names of
    the books of the Bible, and the page on which
    each book begins.
  • If you only have a brief quotation (love your
    neighbor as yourself), you need to use a
    concordance, either a book or a computer program!

Is the Bible Trustworthy?
  • I think it is, or I wouldnt have given up a
    career in astrophysics to spend 35 years teaching
    the Bible.
  • I believe there is good evidence that the Bible
    really is Gods message for humanity.
  • We will look at a little of this in this talk,
    and more on Saturday.

Is the Bible Trustworthy?
  • Lets look at this question under several
  • Does God exist?
  • Is the Bible a message from God?
  • Has the Bible been transmitted correctly to us?
  • Has the Bible been translated correctly?

Does God Exist?
  • Our universe had a beginning.
  • This implies an adequate cause.
  • Our universe is very finely tuned.
  • This implies a designer.
  • Earths cosmic environment is just right.
  • This implies a designer.
  • Living things are astonishingly complex
    wonderfully functional.
  • This implies a designer.

Is the Bible from God?
  • The Bibles ethical teachings
  • E.g., Love your neighbor as yourself.
  • The Bibles fulfilled predictions
  • Concerning surrounding nations
  • Concerning Israel
  • Concerning the Messiah
  • Changed lives due to the Bible
  • Individuals
  • Societies

Bible Transmission
  • Since printing was not used in Europe before the
    late 1400s, Bibles were copied by hand till then
    (as were all other books).
  • How do we know the Bible was not changed
    drastically over this period?
  • If God had it written as his message to humans,
    he would have protected it.
  • We can check this by looking at manuscripts from
    various periods.

Bible Transmission
  • For the Old Testament, we have manuscripts from
    before the time of Jesus.
  • For the New Testament, we have manuscripts from
    before 200 AD.
  • We have many thousands of manuscripts from before
    the age of printing.
  • Bible manuscripts are typically closer to the
    time of writing than for other ancient books.

Comparison to Other Works
  • Work Originally Written Earliest
    Comp Ms Difference
  • New Testament 75 350 275
  • Josephus 90 1000
  • Plutarch 100 950
  • Tacitus 100 850
  • Old Testament 1400-400 350 750-1750
  • Enuma Elish 1750 BC 650 BC 1100
  • Rigveda 1500-1000 1350 AD 2600
  • Iliad bef 700 BC 1050 AD

Bible Transmission
  • There are only minor differences between early
    and late manuscripts.
  • Over recent centuries, a science called textual
    criticism has been developed to obtain the best
    text from manuscripts of ancient books.
  • Modern translations of the Bible use the
    information from the earliest available

Bible Translation
  • The Bible was originally written in Hebrew,
    Aramaic, and Greek.
  • Old Testament mostly in Hebrew
  • New Testament mostly in Greek
  • Translations of the Bible have been made into
    thousands of languages, beginning in the 2nd
    century AD.
  • Modern humans who wish to take the trouble to
    learn Hebrew and Greek can check the translations
    into their own languages.

  • We have good evidence that
  • God exists
  • The Bible is Gods message to humans.
  • The Bible has been carefully transmitted to us in
    modern times.
  • The Bible has been carefully translated into our
    native languages.

The End
  • We can study apply the Bible with confidence.
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